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  • Writer's picture Jacob Nix

3 Key Qualities of a Healthy Security Culture

Updated: Jul 14, 2023

Cybersecurity isn’t just about cybersecurity. It speaks to the integrity of an organization and has a dramatic effect on its reputation among clients and peers.

While compliance and regulations may seem abstract to the average employee or consumer, a potential security breach carries serious, and often expensive, consequences. This year, the average cost of a data breach among companies surveyed in the global 2021 IBM and Ponemon Institute report reached $4.24 million per incident – the highest it’s been in seventeen years.

Maintaining a strong security culture is no longer a “nice-to-have”, it’s a necessity. Fortunately, organizations with health compliance postures have a couple things in common that every company can, and should, take note of. Here are four to get you started.

Security is accessible

Your organization’s cybersecurity is a group project – it needs to be a group effort.

For many employees, security and compliance can easily seem like abstract concepts, often because they’re limited to a single department or role, like the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), or reduced to a quarterly training to “check-the-box”. In reality, employees are often the first line of defense from a potential breach, and CISOs and virtual CISOs, like RISCPoint, must demonstrate a vast range expertise in their role.

Organizations with healthy security cultures are able to transition security from an in-the-weeds concept to real-world policies and practices that are accessible to everyone. In doing so, companies can ensure that no one person is left in the dark, thereby empowering their entire workforce and protecting the collective in the process.

Consistency is key

While security and compliance training is incredibly useful in educating an organization’s employees about potential risks, it’s only successful if done consistently. This is especially crucial if your organization is contractually obligated to comply with certain regulations, whether that be CCPA, GDPR, HIPAA, SOC 2, and so on. Certification is one thing, maintaining compliance is another. At the end of the day, a one-time training won’t do much in moving the needle.

Accountability > punishment

Security and compliance can be incredibly abstract, but they can also be scary. No employee wants to be the reason their company has a data breach, and if an organization has a negative culture or toxic workplace setting, an individual may not feel comfortable coming forward if a mistake has been made. This deprives organizations of valuable time that could limit the breach’s severity.

We all should be held accountable for our actions, but mistakes happen, and in the world of cybersecurity, they often happen unknowingly. Social engineering tactics are specifically designed to trick employees, which is why arming them with the knowledge and resources to identify such threats is so important.

Interested in learning more about how to improve your organization’s security posture? Get in touch with us below:

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